Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Same Bell Tolls...

When I graduated from the University of the Razorbacks in the late seventies I had very realistic job aspirations. I sent letters of inquiry to every small school district in western Montana and southern Idaho that I could find. I also applied at all three American schools in Bolivia where I had done some of my student teaching. I ended up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia where I had many adventures.

South America was an interesting place in the late seventies. I lived in Bolivia for three years and lived through at least six different presidencies or dictatorships more accurately. I also traveled some. I went to Chile and north to Peru. This was a trip with many tales to be told later.

In Peru I stayed in Arequipa. I awoke early in the morning to find the plaza filled with tanks and military. Later, I learned that Arequipa was the birth place of the Shinning Path Guerillas. From there I went to Cuzco and took the train to Machu Pichu.

Recently I discovered a Texas songwriter, Sam Baker, who had also traveled to Cuzco. His trip was later in the 80’s, but he took the same train to Machu Pichu and he also encountered the Shinning Path Guerillas. His experience was not a good one.

The train that Sam Baker was riding was blown up by the Shinning Path Guerillas. He was injured very badly and many people died. He writes about the experience in a song, but I think he writes about God as well.

Sam Baker writes:

"Sitting on the train to Machu Pichu
The passenger car explodes
Not enough time to say good bye
Not enough time to know
What’s gone wrong?"

He goes on to say that “smoke rises through the roof and the dead say fare thee well.”

The heart of the song for me, the part that seems to be about God says:

"No one is just an observer
The same bell tolls for the served and the server
For the strong, the weak
For weary and the brave
Everybody ride come judgment day"

Having ridden trains, buses and trucks across the high plains of South America I can imagine what the people that Sam Baker encountered were like. I am certain that some struck him as kind and worthy and others seemed undeserving. Yet, from his experience he writes that the same bell tolls for all and “everybody rides come judgment day”.

He came closer to death than I have come and his song tells about the experience. I tend to agree with the lyrics of his song and take it to mean that God loves everyone and the same bell will toll for each and everyone.

I do not know if that was what Sam Baker really meant to say, but it is what he said to me. This is the same message that Philip Gulley and James Mulholland seem to have in If Grace is True, Why God Will Save Every Person. It makes sense to me and as my friend, Mahlon, says, ‘How could a parent damn their children to hell?” God loves everyone and everyone will ride on judgment day. It’s a little thing called Grace.


For more about Sam Baker check the link out on the side bar.


Blogger gawilli said...

Grace is a wonderful thing.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a another profound entry. I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures in South America. Furthermore, I am glad that with the politcal unrest that you made your way here to share your insights with the rest of us.

Finally, I am looking forward to hearing the Gulley/Mulholland seminar. Grace is indeed a wonderful thing.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time is change. We all move forward into and through the future. Its a journey. Yet it can be better for all time travelers, if we help each other. The sun does shine on the good and the bad at the same time.

10:48 PM  

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